Past & Present


the shade trees upon a knoll they erected a two-room house which is still standing, although a large brick residence stands in front of it at the present time. It is located three and a half miles southeast of Pittsfield in Newburg township. Near the center of the farm of one hundred and sixty acres is a fine spring near where the old log house stood, and there they resided while the modern building was being erected. Mr. Boling died in 1847 and Mrs. Boling afterward went to Greene county, Illinois, where she lived for three years. On the 31st of October, 1850, she became the wife of Francis Brown, of Quincy, Massachusetts, who had removed to Quincy, Illinois, where some of his descendants now live. There were four children born of this marriage: Mrs. Emma Westlake, who resides on a farm about two and a half miles east of Pittsfield; Mrs. Willsey; Laura, who is living in Pittsfield with her brother, Arthur. The last named married Callie Saylor. Mr. Brown died January 10, 1870, and was survived by his wife until the 13th of March, 1903. They were both laid to rest in the South cemetery at Pittsfield. Both were devoted members of the Congregational church and they enjoyed the respect and good will of all who knew them. Mr. Brown was a farmer, devoting his entire life to agricultural pursuits.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Willsey have been born four children. Grace Melinda, born June 2, 1881, is the wife of Clarence Fudge and resides near her father's farm. They have one child, Nellie Frances, born April 30, 1904. Laura Edith, born October 31, 1885, has studied music under private teachers and she makes her home with her parents. Frances Scott, born December 12, 1887, and James Gallett, born December 31, 1891, are also at home.

Mr. Willsey owns one hundred and sixty acres of land and his wife eighty acres in Pittsfield township. He built one of the finest country residences in the county in 1880 and now resides in this attractive home. There are also large and substantial barns and good improvements upon the place. He handles a large number of sheep and is regarded as one of the substantial residents of the community. He has twenty acres planted to all kinds of small fruit and is very successful in the cultivation of his fields and in horticultural pursuits as well. The farm is equipped with steam engine, thresher, husker, corn sheller and grinder, and the machinery is seldom taken off the farm.

In politics Mr. Willsey is an earnest democrat and served as school director and trustee for twenty-seven years, but otherwise has not sought nor desired public office. In the Masonic fraternity he has attained the Knight Templar degree. His wife is a member of the Congregational church and his children hold membership in the Christian Sunday-school. Mr. Willsey is a prominent and worthy representative of an honored pioneer family and his personal characteristics entitle him to representation among the leading citizens of this locality. He has been very successful and his prosperity has been achieved through methods and along lines that neither seek nor require disguise.


Colonel A. C. Matthews, speaker of the house of representatives in the thirty-sixth general assembly of Illinois, and a distinguished attorney of Pittsfield, whose history is closely interwoven with the records of this city and district, was born and reared upon his father's farm in Perry township, Pike county, and as the years have gone by has become prominent locally and is likewise a well known figure in the state and nation. His parents were Captain B. L. and Minerva (Carrington) Matthews, natives of North Carolina and Kentucky respectively.

When eighteen years of age Colonel Matthews became a student in McKendree College, at Lebanon, Illinois, having previously attended the winter sessions of the village school. While pursuing his college course he boarded in the home of Dr. Peter Akers, then president of the college but now deceased. In 1855 he matriculated in the Illinois College and was graduated in the class of which Judge Lacey and Rev. Dr. Noyes, formerly of Evanston, Illinois, and now deceased, were members. Not long afterward Colonel Matthews en-

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